Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, June 26, 2016

a bird's beach

Today was a totally unplanned day. Before I moved from the house I received an email from the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge requesting help. The beach was attracting people, and there were no plover wardens scheduled.

I called the gatehouse to let them know I was coming, and started my trek to the water. I spent several hours on the beach stopping the occasional (people) incursion, attempting to explain that the beach belongs to the birds, and chatting with some interesting people.

I was posted at the south end of the refuge at the "border" between the national wildlife refuge and Sandy Point State Reservation. Most people were understanding but there were a few who were quite unhappy when I stopped them from proceeding onto the refuge beach. As I was heading out I stopped to chat with the state park ranger who was posted in the parking lot. She told me a couple of people complained about my stopping them; her response to me was "good job!".

I'm glad I'm able to help.

a bird's beach, at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
plovers are too tiny for me to catch but these sea gulls were happy to pose

The latest refuge piping plover population count shows that there are 42 pairs of plovers, 20 nests, and 51 chicks living on the beach at Parker River.

Friday, June 24, 2016

late iris

I think I've always been fascinated by iris. The flowers wear a very intricate and beautiful structure.

The late season emergence of Japanese Iris provides a splash of purple in the garden.

Japanese Iris

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


I love the bright color of this wild rose.

wild rose

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

to the Y

Yesterday I went to the Andover / North Andover YMCA to check out the newly expanded facility (opened in April of this year). I've been a member for a long time but I haven't used the facility at all in too long. It was time to revisit and rethink.

From an article in the Eagle-Tribune:

The $23 million renovation of the Y, which took roughly two years to complete, upgraded a facility which had not seen many improvements since it first opened in 1974.

In January, the new Y opened to its members for the first time. Since then, members have enjoyed the 109,000 square foot building's various new features, including new swimming pools, workout equipment and studio workout rooms.

The completed expansion created new exercise spaces and added a 3rd swimming pool. With free time during the day it appears that swimming in a non-crowded pool is a real possibility. I'm not a fast swimmer, and swimming laps in circles in lanes where most are populated by faster swimmers doesn't work well for me. The new "family" pool has 3 lanes available for lap swimming between 6 AM and 3:30 PM, and the lap pool includes lap swim at some times during that time period as well. When I walked through the building yesterday in the middle of the morning there were empty lap lanes in both pools. I think it's time to swim again.

The weight equipment is all new, and there is a stretching area as well.

There are 4 studio / exercise rooms. I attended a pilates class in one of the studios earlier this evening.

I'm looking forward to using the Y, taking advantage of free time during the day.

Andover / North Andover YMCA

Monday, June 20, 2016


This rabbit was happily munching on grass. He waited while I grabbed my camera, quietly walked outside, then got close to the ground hoping to capture his image. I expected him to run as soon as I opened the door; instead he agreed to pose for me.

a rabbit, watching me watching him

roses and perennials

After visiting the sand sculptures in Hampton Beach yesterday morning I headed to Fuller Gardens for a pop of color. There were some perennials still in bloom and many varieties of roses, a treat for the senses.

a rose in pink

More photos are available in the gallery Fuller Gardens :: 2016.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

back to the beach

I headed back to Hampton Beach this morning to satisfy my curiosity, my need to see the finished sand sculptures. My two favorites from Friday continue to make me smile.

"She loves me" by Justin Gordon features an ogre picking petals from a sunflower, ending with "she loves me". Funny, I saw the sunflower as a pie when I first saw it on Friday. Now I see the flower with one petal remaining, other petals strewn on the ground.

She loves me

"Dada read" by Carl Jara shows a father reading to his toddler. Stuffed toys that match the size of the toddler complete the scene.

DaDa read

In spite of the hordes of people at Hampton Beach I'm glad I returned to see the final sand creations.

Saturday, June 18, 2016


The annual sand sculpting contest at Hampton Beach started on Thursday with sculpture completion later today. I visited yesterday to see the in progress creations. I'm in awe of the detailed sculptures that are created in sand!

I find that the sculptures that pulled me in are by the same artists as those I've enjoyed in years past.

sand sculpture by Justin Gordon
sculpted by Justin Gordon

sand sculpture by Carl Jara
sculpted by Carl Jara

More sand creations can be seen in the gallery emergence :: Hampton Beach 2016.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

a pop of pink

When we were walking in Prescott Park on Saturday we came upon an area holding pots of plants soon to be placed in the gardens. Colors were separated, placed close to plants wearing similar shades.

I loved this pop of pink!

glowers, a pop of pink

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

plover warden

This morning was my first stint as plover warden at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. The entire 6-miles of beach at the refuge closes each year on April 1st at the start of the piping plover nesting season, remaining closed until the birds are done with it (usually sometime in August or September). The closure is well signed, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service uses volunteers to help encourage visitors to remain off of the closed beach.

The last count I heard indicated that there are 47 pairs of piping plovers on the beach with 32 active nests.

The beach above the high tide line is signed and has a rope border to discourage trespassing, but below the tide line there is nothing showing the closure (other than a continuation of the line above the high tide mark). Most people were aware and didn't go anywhere near the closed section of beach, although I did need to stop someone from chasing her child's beach ball. It was very windy all morning, and the beach ball just took off, rolling onto the closed beach and quickly disappearing. Before it disappeared I could see the mother starting to walk toward the beach closure sign. She wasn't very happy when I told her she couldn't retrieve the ball; luckily it disappeared from sight very quickly.

Funny, sometimes people seem to think the signs aren't meant for them. I wonder why.

warning sign at the start of the boardwalk

warning sign showing fine
Sign showing potential fine of $100,000

warning signs

If you're interested in information about the closures, take a look at the fact sheet The Piping Plover and Beach Closures at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

Update on 6/17/2016: the refuge beach is now home to 37 pairs of piping plovers with 65 chicks.